The Bears Den: December 12, 2013 - Week 15 Bears news & notes

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Evidence that the world revolves around Pat Mannelly.

For once, QB controversy is a pleasant quandary - Kevin Lincoln: From the perspective of Cutler, McCown has done him the ultimate favor: he has kept his team alive. You can’t say the same about what Wallace, Tolzien and Flynn have done for Aaron Rodgers.

Bears boosted offense in quick, impressive fashion - Will Brinson: Rebuilding an offense on the fly isn't easy and it almost won't ever be perfect. But Emery crafted a unit -- and gave them a capable coach in Trestman -- in quick fashion and it's the reason the Bears are right in the mix for an NFC North title this season.

Million Fan Salute - The Bears are in Top 10 in “salutes” in (Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL) USAA’s Million Fan Salute, just outside the Top 5. Go salute!

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Subscribed to'). Also, blame ThorCo. Check out David "OSS" Taylor's CheekyMonkeyArt prints and t-shirts. Den pic in hi-res.

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Jay Cutler, Josh McCown

Trestman optimistic Cutler will start versus Browns - Larry Mayer: Marc Trestman is optimistic that Jay Cutler will start Sunday's game in Cleveland, but the QB must pass one final test before the decision becomes official. McCown wins player of week honors.

Cutler inches closer to starting vs. Browns - Adam L. Jahns: Cutler has been cleared by team doctors, but Trestman said the workout remains the next step in order to play on Sunday.

Bears to make QB call Thursday - Michael C. Wright: Trestman said the plan is to put Cutler through the practice script the Bears will follow Thursday at practice as they begin final preparations for the Browns.

Trestman optimistic Cutler will start Sunday - Bob LeGere: If Cutler is ready, McCown will be demoted the day after he was named the NFC OPotW and three days after the best performance of his 11-year career.

My bad, McCown is good - Rick Morrissey: There are many reasons for McCown’s success the last two months, none of which occurred to me as even remote possibilities when I mentioned the gaping Cutler-Briggs crater to Trestman.

[Video] ESPN Hot Button - Louis Riddick: Who should start Sunday against the Browns, Jay Culter or Josh McCown?

[Audio] - Jon Gruden says Josh McCown should start for the Bears, and talks Cutler's future, the Cowboys' struggling defense, the Lions' inconsistency and more.

[Audio] - Adam Schefter talks about the Bears' budding QB controversy, the chances Mike Shanahan will bench Robert Griffin III in favor of Kirk Cousins, and more.

[Audio] - Greg Cosell talks about Josh McCown's abilities, the Bears' QB situation, the Redskins' offense, the Eagles' recent success, Joe Flacco's style of play and more.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - The panel discuss Cutler vs. McCown.

Urlacher: Josh McCown should start - Jeff Dickerson: Former Bears MLB thinks Chicago should stick with the hot QB.

When Trestman gives job to Cutler, let the second-guessing begin - Adam L. Jahns: It might come back to haunt him — the second-guessing has been rampant without Cutler even taking a snap — but Trestman has been unwavering in his stance.

Time for McCown to recede to the shadows - Fred Mitchell: With Cutler likely coming back Sunday, backup QB returns to his role after career game.

Gusty[sic] Trestman stands by his man — Cutler - Mike Imrem: If the Bears still lost, say, 75-70, critics would insist that Trestman disrupted the Bears' karma by changing QBs and Cutler didn't inspire teammates the way McCown would have.

Pressure on Cutler when he returns to lineup - Kip Lewis: Emery may be the one that really wants to see Cutler return. If he doesn't excel to the level of McCown, Emery may choose to start looking for another long-term answer to be the signal caller in Trestman's system.

Bears should pass on Cutler, shore up defense - Herb Gould: Cutler obviously is the better long-term option at QB, but playing him is likely to show that he’s not the answer any more than McCown without a much-improved defense.

McCown, Campbell seeing visions come true with Bears, Browns - Moon Mullin: The two have remained in texting touch since 2012 training camp. Michael C. Wright: Campbell high on McCown, Trestman.

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Bearsss

Briggs still in limbo with shoulder injury - Larry Mayer: Sidelined since Oct. 20 with a fractured shoulder, Lance Briggs still has not been cleared to return to practice.

Briggs likely to miss his seventh game in a row - Mark Potash: This indeed is a different era for the Bears — too many good QBs and not enough good LBs.

Trestman: Briggs' outlook 'not optimistic' for Sunday - Jeff Dickerson: While Tucker and the organization are high on the club’s younger LBs, asking first-year players to fill the void left by Briggs is virtually impossible.

'MNF' affects Bears' prep for Cleveland Browns - Michael C. Wright: Trestman put the team through a walkthrough on Wednesday, and said the abbreviated week will force him to switch up the schedule to accommodate.

Joniak's Journal - Bears' most pressing concern remains the run defense; Bears' QB duo top 10 in the NFL; Briggs not yet ready to return; Josh Gordon will be a handful.

[Video] View from the Moon - Briggs still out; run D vs Browns; should Cutler play?

Team notes - Patrick Finley: Nate Collins upbeat despite injury; Urlacher says Bears should start McCown because he's still sore that Cutler instructed Emery to release him; injury updates.

Team notes - Rich Campbell: Briggs likely will sit out again'; Ratliff's greater impact in second game; Hester to the Pro Bowl?

Football Outsiders - The Bears have a top-5 offense compared to the league average, and a defense that's close to being in the bottom third.

Know thy enemy - Dan Durkin: While the Browns have only won one of their last eight games, they’re not nearly as bad as their record suggests.

Game grades - Adam Hoge's five top- and bottom-graded Bears from Bears-Cowboys: It may have happened against the worst defense in the NFL, but not surprisingly, the Bears graded out very well in their 45-28 win Monday night.

Pro Bowl - Andy Benoit's picks for the 2014 Pro Bowl includes three Bears offensive skill position players, and none of the defense. Who'da thunked it possible?

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Ditka

[Video] ESPN - Sarah Spain with an all-access look at Ditka Day, a celebration for legendary Bears coach Mike Ditka.

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Polish sausage

December momentum just isn't everything it's cracked up to be - Brian Billick: In December, there's no bigger NFL buzzword than "momentum." But if it's really that crucial, how do you explain the Ravens' title run last season

13 NFL teams positioned to draft QB in 2014 - Gil Brandt thinks there are as many as 13 NFL teams with a need at the position, whether a new starter or for someone to groom, but doesn't list the Bears among them.

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling: Players' belief might be Leslie Frazier's best shot at saving his job.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: Cautious approach right with Aaron Rodgers.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: Lions need Reggie Bush healthy for final stretch ... Ryan Broyles optimistic about rehab, return.

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You can keep your "Invictus". I watched this extraordinary moment - all the more so for the symbolism of the gesture - unfurl in a live broadcast immediately after the 1995 RWC final. It was clear then that massive changes were taking place as nearly half a century of Apartheid was well and truly dismantled.

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